BOSTON –A single justice of the state’s highest court will hear the appeal of a former pimp convicted in the ritualistic slaying of a Fall River prostitute.
Carl Drew, 50, was convicted in 1980 of the slaying of Karen Marsden. Drew and Robin Marie Murphy were accused of decapitating Marsden and performing satanic rituals over her dead body. The murder was the third in string of cult-like slayings in Fall River at the time.
In January, a Bristol County judge denied Drew’s bid for a new trial. He appealed, and Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert Cordy last week agreed to hear the case and decide whether it merits consideration by the full court.
Drew’s attorney, Michael Cutler, said the hearing would probably be held in September, but no date has been set.
“Because Judge Cordy could have denied the appeal without a hearing, we are grateful to get this opportunity at oral arguments,” Cutler told The Herald News of Fall River. “Our case is very strong.”
Murphy testified against Drew in exchange for a lesser sentence. But months before she was released in May, she told a parole board she knew nothing about Marsden’s death. Several other witnesses then came forward to claim they’d been coerced by prosecutors.
But the Superior Court judge who denied Drew’s motion for a new trial found the witnesses were not credible enough to warrant a new trial.